Anheuser-Busch has said that price rises have boosted sales in the third quarter, despite analyst warnings of a "significant downturn" in the market.

Anheuser-Busch (A-B) said in a trading update today (3 October) that strong growth for its new Bud Light Lime has helped it to increase beer shipments to wholesalers and retailers by 2.3% and 3.6% respectively in the third quarter.

Price rises across the majority of the brewing giant's portfolio have also lifted revenue per barrel by 4% in the quarter, compared to the same period last year, it said.

The group's trading update follows a warning from analyst group Bernstein that the US beer market has seen a "significant downturn" in volume sales in the last few months.

"Anheuser-Busch has benefited strongly from the launch of Bud Light Lime but the rest of its portfolio remains lacklustre," it said in a note this week.

"Domestic beer shipments have declined from approx 3% at the start of the year to modest decline, and import brands have been hit by changing consumption patterns," the group added.

A-B, which is set to be acquired by Belgium-based InBev, said cost pressures had continued in the third quarter, but that its cost savings programme had insulated the group. It did not detail specific savings.

Pre-tax profit in the third quarter rose in the low double-digits, said the St Louis-based brewer, which will report its full quarterly results on 6 November.